You know things are not going well when you’ve had to give Match of the Day the swerve for five consecutive Saturdays.
Some of you are no doubt braver than I, but Lineker’s half-hearted ‘and Norwich?’ that invariably follows the collective gushing over the qualities of our opponents is too much to take when the pain of defeat is still smarting.
It’s still stinging this morning.
This was supposed to be the game when our season kicked into gear. I was less accepting than some of our first four games being effectively writen-off, but it was clear from the moment the fixtures were released that Watford (h) was the most likely opportunity for our first win.
That we came up so far short was a full-on blow to the nether regions.
We could legitimately argue we were worthy of a point against Leicester and were plucky in defeat against Liverpool, but against a Watford team that looked more streetwise and organised, we were well beaten. Comfortably so.
And not only were the Hornets more streetwise and organised; they were also bigger, faster, stronger and more athletic. They also made far fewer errors.
I wrote in my pre-match piece on Friday that yesterday’s game was going to be a useful barometer of how successful Stuart Webber’s summer overhaul has been in making Daniel Farke’s squad more robust and able to handle the physical demands of the Premier League.
I keep tapping the barometer and the answer is still the same.
Clearly, there are also issues with the shape, formation and permutations of personnel with which Farke has so far tinkered, but until we can cope, particularly in the middle of the pitch, with the hurly-burly of Premier League football then the wins will remain hard to come by.
Right now it’s difficult to see where the first point let alone the first win is coming from.
All the failings that become so apparent when we enter the top tier have gone precisely nowhere.
We’re still a soft touch. We still give away soft goals. We still make individual errors. And we still look powderpuff in the final third.
For as long as all these traits persist, we will remain in 20th.
But it stings even more because looking at the squad, we should be more competitive. We’re not going to be challenging for a top-half finish, nor are we regularly going toe-to-toe with those in the top six, but there looks to be enough quality there to at least give ourselves a fighting chance at winning some games of football, even allowing for the lack of bulk and athleticism.
Right now, that’s all being undermined by us being far too easy to score against.
There were some promising signs and some good moments – all of the new players have shown glimpses of promise – but they’re fitful and there are never enough moments to come together to produce a good, solid, all-round performance.
A few good spells and some promise are not enough to win football matches at this level, not when teams know if they’re patient and solid, that Norwich will make a gaff or two and cough up a golden chance or two.
I’ll not dissect the three Watford goals because we’ll all have seen them but, like the Arsenal goal last Saturday, it wasn’t single individual errors that proved so costly each time. It was a series of errors for each goal.
The Match of the Day pundits, if they could be bothered, will have had a field day, which leads me on nicely to something else that really stings as a result of this atrocious start to the season.
Ever since promotion was secured in April, this club has had to endure jibes, platitudes, jokes and (sometimes) insults based on its propensity to yo-yo, its funding model, its inability to splash cash on a Premier League scale, and the way it chooses to do things differently.
As a result of all of the above, City fans rallied superbly in defence of the club, taking to social media, phone-ins etc to try and correct the misunderstandings and ignorance around our model.
Pundits, experts and national journos were literally queueing up to tell us we’ll be heading back whence we came at the end of this season, but we fought back passionately, attempting to explain, even politely in some instances, that bolstered by the sale of Emi Buendia, we have been spending what, in Norwich City terms, were astronomical sums. This time around it would be different.
Yet everything that was said… the derogatory comments, the jibes, the prophecies of doom… has been played out just as they predicted. Even the spinniest of spin doctors would struggle to drag a positive message out of a record that reads W0-D0-L5 with a goal difference of -12.
Of course, the season is only five games old and there is still time to prove all of the doom-mongers wrong, but as things stand we have not a single item of ammunition with which to return fire. The stirring and passionate defence of our model looks right now to be nothing more than bravado. No actions have yet emerged to back up those words.
For Daniel Farke, there is one massive week ahead at Colney. The Carabao Cup game against Liverpool may be a pleasant, even winnable, diversion from their league travails – depending on the strength of Klopp’s XI – but to garner a positive collective mindset off the back of yesterday is a huge challenge all of its own.
Five defeats on the spin at the start of a new season take some recovering from. There has been no promotion ‘bounce’ in Norfolk. Only in west London and Hertfordshire.
So where from here?
Well, Farke spoke passionately in Friday’s presser of many things including this club’s habit of feeling sorry for itself very quickly when things go awry in the Premier League, so I guess, first of all, management, players and supporters must try and avoid falling into that particular trap.
Not easy though.
Only hard work is going to make this right, along with a rethink of the 4-3-3 and eradication of the defensive cock-ups. But until then…
Keep the chins up. Still 33 more chances to get some points.
I’m afraid that Delia’s latest scheme to hold on to something she cannot afford is falling apart faster than her previous attempts.
The most depressing thing about our current situation is by leaving the club to her nephew she has ensured we supporters will endure perpetual misery!
Alex B says
Breaking news that most football supporters will be sad to hear is that England Great Jimmy Greaves has sadly died after a long fight and Ill health due to a stroke
My Condolences to his family
martin penney says
I thoroughly endorse that.
My condolences to the Greaves family too.
Play Omobamidele & Kabak for rest of the season, Sorensen at right back and dont let let him or Williams cross half way line. Ditch the 433 for 451, might not be pretty to watch and will probably not score more goals but at very least may concede less goals from crosses and players out of position when we turnover possession. Krul, Sorensen, Omobamidele, Kabak, Williams, Normann, Gilmour, Lees Melou, Raschica, Sargent, Pukki. OTBC
Alex B says
A very thoughtful read.
Some I hope joker suggested that in a few weeks Big Sam will be rolling up at Colney and saving our season.
Another has said all the rush to get Farke and Co to sign new long term contracts will now bite us in the financial pockets.
SW has previously said if things aren’t working he wouldn’t be scared to make a change only time will tell if he sticks or twists and then there is the Delia factor how will she lean.
Yesterday was basically a new team learning the harsher reality of the premiership and as you say still time to turn this around.
DF has tried a few systems maybe against Loserpool on Tuesday we could see a back 3 or a front 2 of Sargent and Idah with Pukki having a cameo roll to get a winner
Onwards and upwards
Stay Healthy and Keep Safe
Midfield Mike says
Are the players good enough? Yes.
So I think it is the system which is the problem. .
I don’t know anyone that thinks 4-3-3 is appropriate and i don’t know anyone that thought we had the players in the summer to make it our template.
The only good defensive season under Farke was with Ollie Skipp. At the end of that season City should have offered Spurs £20-25m at the time rather than seek someone else on the off-chance that could do the same job. In hindsight they’ve done neither. The season is nearly 15% through and there’s still no organised play or defensive stability. Brentford (the worst of the promoted sides) have collected three clean sheets thus far. Norwich will struggle to get one by Christmas. My sympathies lie with the season ticket holders. You – and the wider fan base – deserve better that the ritual humiliations regularly being thrust in your faces. Be positive? Why. We are living a worst-case scenario. How could it be worse?
Before the game yesterday, Norwich were the only club in the top seven divisions of English football to not have won a single point. Nottingham Forest dispensed with Chris Hughton for his dismal start this year. They still have more points than Norwich. City’s is the worst start in the top division ever. The most consecutive losses for a manager ever. The worst defensive record over that period ever. Things are looking somewhat dismal. There are a stack of players at Colney who need to start appreciating their £20-40,000 A WEEK and start producing the goods. If anything this season is worse than last time because they offered the olive branch of hope with some spending. But thinking about it it was only a net spend of £20M or so which is only double the pitiful funding effort two years ago. £20M wouldn’t buy a mid-table full-back’s left foot these days. Beyond depressing, utterly embarrassing and humiliating.
Looking on the bright side, maybe they’ll win three of the next four end everything will look better?
No doubt about it Farke is under a bit of pressure from some fans and rightly so.15 prem games without a win is not good and many managers/head coaches would have got the boot by now,suppose he is safe after having signed a 4 year contract as the board wouldnt want to shell out all that compensation!I think the 4 3 3 should be given the boot and try either 5 3 2 or 3 5 2..Something for sure has to change,whether that’s the head coach and/or the formation,it has to be at least one of them
This weeks post mortem notes read as grimly as the league table.
Quite frankly Gary, although you cast doubt on the propensity of even the happiest of clappers to find a positive, let’s deal with those first.
In no particular order, Normanns pass, Pukkis finish, Kruls save, Sargent display. As they say in the USA… period.
It’s correct to point out that although nothing special, Watford were faster, more committed, stronger, more precise, more clinical and more cynical than us. They had a better base formation, and better tactics.
And so, the easiest, on paper at least game passes with a humiliating beating. One which apparently has broken some sort of long standing record. Great.
Proving all the pundits, hackneyed old journos, know all’s, match of the day bbc gravy train passengers, assorted commercial radio gobshites and Danny mills correct is a particularly galling aspect of this pathetic state of affairs.
Yes, two sides we comfortably bested in terms of league position last season are making light of their new surroundings. However, they didn’t sell their best player for a fortune in June to fund the signings of reinforcements. They held on to the likes of Sarr, ( wonder how he’s doing) and Toney and the rewards are plain to see. Whatever else is going wrong (and there’s plenty) there lies the nub of the problem.
Webber’s remit isn’t to provide a winning team on the pitch, here and now. His task is to create more emiliano buendia types, to be sold for a fortune in two years time, just as they begin to develop into something special. Farkes task is to polish them, fatten them up for market, in readiness for the next fat infusion of cash.
Some, such as tzolis and Sargent could well work out well. Others like rashica who appears to be an expensive version of placheta look hugely uninspiring. the policy of bringing in raw young players from big clubs to iron out their bad habits in a yellow shirt, in this league is a pointless exercise. Giannoulis, a serviceable left back, one owned by us, is ditched after a shaky 45 minutes against Manchester City for a left back who frequently goes completely awol at vital moments. The regular site of an opponent with the freedom of our left flank to tee up yet another goal whilst in splendid isolation is something to behold. A sort of ‘where’s Williams’.
Gilmour, despite the ludicrous hype, both locally and nationally is nowhere near ready for premier league football. Doubtless we could have saved lots of money by keeping Leitner, who performed to a smiliar standard at this level.
With the rot setting in so deeply and so early in the season, and without the comforting blanket of an empty stadium to witness and pass an opinion on what they have just watched, some uncomfortable times lie ahead.
Perhaps Daniel farke should desist from fierce public criticism of the support when in the midst of record breaking runs of crap results and form.
“Midfield Mike” says
On SW: I still don’t know why we have to reinvent the wheel. Take the preferred 3 man midfield daydream for this season. I for one would happily have Conour Hourihane and Alex Mowatt and Kenny McLean. But nope, must prove we can do it better and cheaper than everyone else.
What I’m still staggered by is that we selected a new formation, from a completely clean slate and a decent transfer budget, that required 3 central midfielders when Kenny McLean was the only recognised midfielder in our squad. Then we went after players with no guarantees that they’d be capable in the English game, under the cosh in a season long relegation battle. That’s a different game to a balmy Champions League night at Stamford Bridge.
Then we went and bought 2 left wingers when Cantwell spent last season playing on the left. Then we bought a #9 worthy of starting but…. The chosen formation means either dropping the GOAT or playing your #9 on the right wing….. and then choose 1 out of 3 aforementioned lefties.
The defence for me is just a joke. JUST PLAY A BLOODY BACK 3. If the defenders aren’t good enough as a pair, shore them up with a 3rd. And our fullbacks think they are wingbacks anyway.
I felt utterly deflated yesterday. Picking up on individual errors is clutching at straws, it’s making excuses, it is misleading. Watford have played with width for a long time and DF’s counter thinking was to maintain a narrow setup. I said it before, repeatedly, 4-3-3 seems stupid against 4-1-4-1.
Normann looked class with a passing range that mitigates a need for Gilmour. Plan accordingly.
Sarjent and Pukki looked good whenever they got near each other. Plan accordingly. Cantwell, the most experienced at this level amongst our ranks in attacking midfield, looks the most appropriate creative spark behind that front 2.
And as for the subs. It made me baulk. As I’ve said before, to tactically shift from 4-3-3 you need 2x concurrent subs and even then, you’ve not got players in their idea positions. And when DF changed from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1, as I’ve said before, he had 1 sub left to make and he’s changed to a formation where making that sub (Idah) is just going to dissolve into a nothing formation.
I absolutely love DF abd I so want him to succeed, but to keep persevering with an inappropriate formation is spoiling my support. I ask myself if Eddie Howe would setup like that, with these players. We all suspect we will be watching 4-3-3 for a few more months, and then if there is a change, to 3-4-2-1 for example, why the midfielders suddenly look lost after learning a different system for 6 months and we’ll wonder why no defender from 3 takes control of any situation either.
DF is engraining a system that is going to take time to in-learn.
And sadly, Martin Keown was right: “Norwich just don’t look like a Premier League team”.
Brentford tinkered into a 3-5-2 with 3 primary, pragmatic subs that have drastically improved their base setup. Despite having a clean slate in the summer without Skipp and Buendia who almost imposed 4-2-3-1, we re-engineered ourselves with an irrational formation that clearly wouldn’t improve either defence, midfield or attack. It’s so dejecting.
Brentford is data master. Their 3 centre backs are all very tall, because they have used so much time to practising their set pieces and know how much goals they can get from set pieces. They are pragmatic team, been pragmatic team is not easy.
Championship is so much lower level than premier league and Spurs midfield has not impressed even they have Hojberg. So, Skipp is close to loose his starting line up place. Buendia didnt get playing time yesterday against Everton and they won 3-0 that game. If championship clubs would go to play european club games, im basically sure that you would get shocked.
Recruitment has been not made for this season, but of course its easier to sell it to fans when there is plenty of money used. What happen if new boys are not able to to make promotion possible next season? Idea of making selling profit then fails.
Alex B says
Everything is conjecture and opinions with any system in football.
We can all say this or that is wrong but our livelihood doesn’t depend on it.
DF still has the majority of supporters on his side and as we all know that soon changes.
Getting a few points on the board no matter what system he uses will be a good start for everyone.
Some said yesterday that the team was naive, but it was a near complete new team and many hadn’t played a game in anger for a while so just maybe an away game at Everton who just got a similar beating could be good news for everyone let’s hope so at least
Midfield Mike says
It was a self engineered team Alex. That’s my worry and frustration. We had a clean slate in the summer, and a transfer budget. DF could have named any formation he liked and SW should have bought accordingly.
I don’t know anyone that would play 4-3-3 with the players we had remaining from promotion. A new defender? Would mean dropping either the Captain or £7m Gibson. 3 Premier League midfielders? We only had an injured Kenny McLean in the entire squad in that position. 3 attackers? How is Pukki a focal point and is Cantwell suited to that? So not only did we need improvements, we chose a system that doesn’t suit what we already had. So peculiar.
Choosing 4-3-3 just didn’t make sense to me Alex and I’ve watched every match and it doesn’t make sense now. That is down to DF, plain and simple. I don’t even know how Gilmour and PLM are considered appropriate for the system given the running necessary at this level, and as I said with Pukki and Todd, Sarjent was the only logical signing IDEALLY suited to 4-3-3 too…. but to play him logically meant at the forfeit of the GOAT.
Yesterday’s team wasn’t naive, it is hands down the best 11 that DF has except for Rashica/Cantwell. What it was was completely inappropriate against the width and congested banks that Watford always play. 4-3-3- against 4-1-4-1 was as inappropriate as 4-3-3 was against Liverpool’s front 3.
I soooooo badly want DF to pull this off but I don’t see that formation getting a single point on the board except against Brentford. Let’s not forget the Newcastle pre-season either.
The problem, and I know this is a touchy subject, is that I think DF is too stubborn to rip up the blueprint and start again with a more appropriate system.
Question why is it that teams that finish below us in the championship seem to adapt to the premier league so much easier than us i.e brentford, sheff utd ?
And same gary was full of hope now nearly lost the will lol ….but who will get the blame if this continues I wonder farke , webber or the board ?
Is farke’s or webbers plan of nice possession based football flawed in the premier league ?
Hard to argue with any of this.
A back three featuring omobamidele, allowing the full backs, particularly giannoulis, to venture forward.
Also I feel Sorensen should get some game time. We literally have nothing to lose by shaking it up. We can’t do any worse than lose every week.
A trivial point – the pre Watford training video did not inspire great hope. The usual stretches and keep ball exercises in a 10metre grid – yawn – were accompanied by a new ‘fun heading game’ based on providing players with either early 0n-set dementia or the possibility of serious injury as they acted as GKs too.. It was incredible but in a very bad way.. Yes, the training cannot reveal our ‘trade secrets’ (have we got any??) but sometimes these videos undermine (my) confidence in what we are about. Have only really learnt anything when watching GKs at work.
Nothing has changed, Norwich is was too much dependent of Pukki. Now task for him is basically impossible, because premier league opponents are hurting too much your defence and he should score 3-4 goals per game to make points possible. If he stays in Norwich after january transfer window, it proves that he lacks understanding realities or he is masochist. I believe that he has ok chance to score before january window double figures, but does that help Norwich to get points its different question.
Players what Norwich bought have played in their level, that was they was before. Same can be said about all players except Cantwell who actually has been all the time in tight rope and now have failed to keep himself up. Good thing for him is that when results are what they are, then everyone will get their chance.
I had a feeling that Farke will try 2 striker system against Watford, basically it was quite obvious. Sargeant played his game, which is strength. Finland has played sometimes together with Pukki similar striker type, but does someone ever expect them to score? No. It proves again how differently we think about football, in british football trying is what you appreciate most and we appreciate skills most. Im basically sure that Farke has took that idea from Finland games what he has kept on watching. So, no matter how difficult scoring is for Sargeant its helping hand for Teemu.
I predict that Norwich tries next 3 centre back system, problem and most difficult thing in that system is wiing backs. You have several wingers and full backs, so there is plenty of options. Usually better wing backs are players who has played before as wingers. There is something what Norwich needs to do to make defence at least little bit better. Against Norwich there has been scored about 3 goals per game and its just too much. What happen if that does not help? You park a bus and hope that Teemu somehow scores a goal without any scoring chance ( dives a penalty or anticipate opponents passes).
Inside Right says
After yesterday’s lightweight performance, I’ve seen enough now and I am firmly in the camp that Farke has to go and I don’t say that lightly.
Although he is not solely responsible, as questions need to be answered regarding the quality and scale of recruitment, tactually he is completely out of his depth at this level and the stats do not lie. It’s such a shame as I like the guy and the football played in The Championship was amongst some of the best ever, but at this level it doesn’t work. At all.
The recruitment has been more quantity than quality and Farke hasn’t coped with this. I don’t think he knows what the best formation is and what his best XI is. We needed less players in and higher quality players that did arrive to continue the momentum of our Championship season, but that has been completely been cut to ribbons and I have no idea where any points are coming from unless the opposition are having an extremely bad day.
We might just have to accept that as good as he’s been at the second level, he just isn’t the man for the first. If the club is serious about retaining their EPL status – and the board has always had a lukewarm attitude to it – then at the very least they need to start making enquiries as it will not be easy to get a good manager to work under the current system and majority shareholders.
It is cheaper to change the manager than change the squad, That’s basic economics.
Michael Bailey is always pretty close to the money and asked a question that many fans we will thinking about? ‘ Is it that Farke cannot get enough out of the players, or are the players are not good enough?
While the answer could actually be both, we have to forget about the perfect game and get somebody in who can make it work. That may not be pretty and it may be ugly, but we are in a points business and Farke simply cannot find a way to get some on the board, so somebody else is required with a fresh pair of eyes to make things happen again.
Given the somewhat laissez-faire attitude of the board, I cannot see them giving Farke his p45 anytime soon, but Webber must be concerned and he cannot bluff his way out of this one. He wants to work in Europe and needs Norwich to at least stay in the EPL, but if that fails again, then who the hell is Stuart Webber to wider world? A half job man?
Some fans are quite happy to write off an EPL season, to win The Championship again but that is unrealistic and unsustainable. The majority shareholders are not financially compatible with the EPL and the only way we can stay in it is to find the guy who can work his magic with the players, but the magic that Daniel had has had no effect at the highest level and even before the Watford game, the pressure was clearly on – in the safest seat in football.
The next few weeks will be interesting, but if our form continues to flounder, then I would hope Farke has the decency to walk – or at least come to an ‘agreement’ – rather than continue a path of failure, as himself as much as anyone deserves better.
Catton canary says
I love DF but all those people who said we picked up our points against the weaker teams last year were right with the exception of the 1-0 against Swansea..Now all the teams are good and DF is struggling. Everybody except the NCFC management can see the problems.. Don’t mess about with the ball in dangerous areas. Hanley is not Maldini. Stick to what he is good at. Our players are still not physical enough. They do not foul like Rose did for Watford to break things up. Gilmour is going to have to improve hugely to justify the hype. DF still does not know what his best team is. Someone said yesterday that everything around us has been improved, players, training ground etc but we still have DF with his principles stubbornly not changing. They likened it to putting a Skoda engine in a BMW. Harsh perhaps but DF is miles away at the moment.
The other thing that worries me is the loan players. OK we’ll be relegated because we’re awful so it’s hard to attract players but do you honestly think Rashica and co will be roughing it in the Championship next year? Some of them already look disillusioned.
Principles are good but Delia and Daniel are trying to buck the trend when all evidence is to the contrary. If there is another inspiring manager out there I’m not against a change but we’re more likely to end up with Russell Martin or Cooper from Swansea which is much worse. Daniel will get the flak but ultimately we need a change of ownership to keep the club moving forwards. DF was fortunate that there were no fans in the ground during the lockdown performances otherwise last season could have been very different. I’m a long term fan whatever but we were let down big time yesterday by all concerned and something has to change quickly.
It’s all so dispiriting.
We were told it would be different this time, and they are right, it’s much worse!
Whatever happened to that spirit, that verve, that desire to win that we saw at the beginning of our last PL campaign? Have we been so ground down by the PL?
All these new players, a new system (??), we’ve lost our identity.
DF still has time to turn this around. Switch back to 4231. Put “our” players back in. So far, Williams and Gilmour have not shown that they are better than what we already have.
I’m going to play golf. At least that way, I can forget about football for a few hours.
I must be honest, I am fed up with clinging to straws as positives. Our defence has been the problem for all season except last season. But I did. Count up of central defenders and came up with 9, with umpteen permutations. Farke has had Hanley, Zimmerman, Gibson Omobamidele, Kabak, Tettey, Godfrey, Klose & Amadou
Yet the same weaknesses are there, for me it must be the way players are coached to play. I cannot see any other reason.. system, zonal whatever it must rest somewhere other personal.
Why do our centre backs go up corners. they can’t get back if the opposition break, but more importantly they never win the ball from the corner, let alone score. Total waste of positional play., park them on the half way line with the full backs 10 to 15 yards in front of them wide, 5 yards from the touch line, they then have chance to pick up the clearance or get back to help the CB’s, keep 2 midfielder, just outside the box. The other 4 should be in the box, but not standing on top of each other.
You don’t need to mark the goalkeeper, the ball should be delivered, between the 6 yard box and the penalty spot, keepers won,t come for that and the ball should be attacked. If the defence win a header, you have players to pick it up. fair to say they won’t have so many in the box either, so the 4 get a clear run on the ball.
Totally agreed with trying the back 3, but still leave 2 back to defend.
We played better at times against Watford than we played in the four previous games, Pukki looked much sharper and productive teamed up with Sargent, he played with more freedom than he did with Finland. I think Pukki/Sargent will be a positive partnership for us.
Pukki knows where the other side’s goal is, Sargent too, we need to channel the ball to them so they can show us that in the Premiership. Our front line looked far more effective against Watford.
I would like to see Cantwell put in the role Buendia fulfilled, I think he will revel in having two intelligent running targets in Pukki and Sargent, and should score a few goals himself to boot!
For me, it went wrong because again we couldn’t control Watford’s wing play, so we need full backs to be defenders for a while rather than having them bombing up and down the wings.
Lets stop the other side from scoring goals, then we can start doing dynamic things which, although pretty, for us, seem to be dangerous!
When you read the stats for the game we were not as productive as Watford, but we were closer than we’ve been in other matches this season, on another day we might have scored more goals.
I couldn’t care less about 15 Prem games lost on the trot – ten of them were two seasons ago interspersed with very successful promotions and they were with vastly different squads.
We currently have very exciting, skillful players blending together, and improving fitness levels, several of them are internationals who have performed on the highest stages, they have been pursued by other clubs because of their skillsets,
Normann and Kabak, Rashica and Tzolis, look like being good signings once everything settles down and the squad works together for a while. Give it time to come together.
Just over a week ago all we were hearing was “Arteta and Edu must go”, this week we’re hearing “Farke and Webber must go” – who knows what we’ll be hearing next week?
Use Liverpool in the Carabao constructively as a practice match for all I care, lets have defenders being defenders for a while though, and lets start getting ready for Everton and Burnley in the Prem,
We are close enough to the bottom six clubs to make a difference with some good solid performances.
Bernard Owen says
I would have preferred 442 compared to yesterday’s . At least then you bolster the end we got problems with.Normann and Lees Melou.
Can’t get gilmour in ,yet. Pukki with Sargent up front , tsolis and rashica as the width.
Midfield Mike says
Williams McLean Normann Aarons
Hanley Gibson Kabak
All day long. A big emphasis on Todd and USA defending the channels and yes, the back line should be set like that. Gibson is the voice and he carries the ball best, and Kabak and Hanley have the acceleration to tuck in behind him when Gibson is beat. I think Andy O is the better defender, but I think we need group organisation and not individual talent at this stage.
An interesting take on it Mike. Particularly in regard to omobamidele. I feel he is fast developing into our best player, let alone our best defender. He excelled for Ireland and was an integral part in our strongest defensive display thus season.
“Midfield Mike” says
Hi Chris, I agree that Andy O is likely to be our best defender, but the best individuals don’t make the best team. Just like Gilmour, I personally feel that Andy O needs others around him. DF himself has said, for example, that Gibson is more vocal and organising than Hanley. And Andy O needs a voice beside him. I could show screenshots of Andy O against Arsenal that Proves he needs a voice. Kabak is only 21 and has no authority to correct Andy O. That leaves a Toss up between Hanley and Gibson and I’d never drop the Capt. I think Andy O will be another £30m player but my opinion is that we don’t have time to be leading a young lion into the fight. He’s going to get game time all season with injuries and suspensions anyway. I’d rather just have the organisation first and foremost, the best group that needs the least guidance, than the best young player.
Good point, well made!
“Midfield Mike” says
Hi Chris, I agree that Andy O is likely to be our best defender, but the best individuals don’t make the best team. Just like Gilmour, I personally feel that Andy O needs others around him. DF himself has said, for example, that Gibson is more vocal and organising than Hanley. And Andy O needs a voice beside him. I could show screenshots of Andy O against Arsenal that Proves he needs a voice. Kabak is only 21 and has no authority to correct Andy O. That leaves a Toss up between Hanley and Gibson and I’d never drop the Capt…. Which means no voice from Gibson… which means Andy O doesnt get the guidance.
I think Andy O will be another £30m player but my opinion is that we don’t have time to be leading a young lion into the fight. He’s going to get game time all season with injuries and suspensions anyway. I’d rather just have the organisation first and foremost, the best group that needs the least guidance, than the best young player.
Alex B says
So no Gilmour is he a luxury or was he a poor signing
“Midfield Mike” says
Colin B says
It was sad to hear the news of the death of Jimmy Greaves. I was fortunate to see him play. He was quick for his era.
The other non NCFC story of this weekend that catches the eye, is the trouble at Derby. I assume it stems back to the Lampard era and the excessive spending that did not achieve promotion. I also remember Harry Redknaps’ tenure at Portsmouth that led was supported by spending that the club could not afford. The result bankruptcy and successive relegation.
Turning to NCFC. Gary is spot on with his views. Watford were stronger, bigger and more streetwise
There press was more effective and it led to mistakes. They targeted certain players, eg Aarons. Whenever there was an aerial challenge they jumped in to him. When they turned the ball over they were quick to counter. Our possession is always too slow. Watford are a tall side so they can launch the ball if they want to mix it up. I can’t us getting any change from Burnley as they play like Watford. Our best chance is against Everton as they try to play.
Cyprus canary says
It is interesting to hear from people who have different opinions and I respect your views guys. However what we are all trying not to face is that Farkeball leads to the chump.
Tim N says
There are players who are excellent in the Chump and not good enough for the PL. DF is the manager equivalent of that at the moment. Who would you have to replace him though? If you are to make a change than do it sooner than later. Give the new person a chance rather than a hopeless task with only a dozen games to go. I for one would have no problems with someone like Big Sam coming in to keep the team up. It would not have to be a long term appointment. At this point staying up and securing the PL money next season is what it is all about. Do that and perhaps you can then look at a manager for the future. Eddie Howe, or if Bournemouth don’t go up and we do stay up, Scott Parker might be worth a punt. I would also not be adverse to be the first team to appointment a female coach in this position. I don’t follow the women’s game but I can’t imagine there are no suitable candidates. If we are to continue with the Smith’s in charge then some very outside of the box thinking needs to start occurring for the long term future of this club.
Keith B says
First half yesterday seems to have been pretty even, and we had good spells before the second Watford goal – trouble is they led to nothing. We don’t have a Sarr or a Toney who can make things happen on their own.
With two much-anticipated debutants who have barely spent two weeks with the squad it’s clear the team is going to remain a work in progress for some time yet. I expect Farke to play a strong eleven on Tuesday with an eye to building that team rather than the normal approach of giving fringe players game time.
I stand my prediction when the fixtures came out that we would have no points before October but still eventually survive.
Finally the first match I can ever remember watching was the Spurs v Burnley Cup Final in 1962, and the late, great Jimmy Greaves was my first hero. Not long after the Canaries and Ron Davies grabbed my attention and the rest is history.
I am not looking for excuses yesterday not only do we have to try to beat the opposition but the ref as well. Look at the stats we had 12 shots same as Watford but we had 2 stone wall penalties yesterday. The second did not even make MOD.
I think a self funding club is still the way forward. Just look at the latest calamity – Derby County.
Maybe we will never be an established Premier team but I will continue to be positive. After all it’s only a game . Not life or death. Let’s just enjoy the roller coaster of NCFC & keep a smile on our faces
That’s not me by the way .. (chris)
Great read and comments
I live in Derby and have dined on the 11 points, worse PL record ever for years but even now after only 5 games I’m getting twitchy thinking we are going to take that record !
I’m ever the optimist however…..
Ennis Pipe says
Some sound opinions in the comments and I’ll add the following:
-It was a clear penalty in the first half, replays showed, and the commentators were in agreement, that there was no contact with the ball, only the player-that suddenly changes the direction and momentum in the match
-Danny Rose…he was absolutely dead on his feet at 50 mins. Multiple opportunities to overlap weren’t taken, and there was no recovery on his part multiple times….the point is, Cantwell should have been shoved at him and told to run at him (not Tsolis) to make something happen and expose his fatigue. Why aren’t the coaches seeing this?
-Kabak. Hmm. Beaten on goals 1 and 3. Communication with Hanley? But a real ‘welcome to the Prem’ for him and with this match being discussed as a 6-pointer, maybe someone with more Prem experience would have been a better choice? He was the one name on the team sheet that surprised me.
-Normann – can’t wait until he has 90 mins in his legs. Sargant – same. Good work rate and a very positive contribution -once he gets a few league goals under his belt, his confidence will take off.
Formation -I’ll let DF figure that out but a 3-4-2-1 as a throw of the dice? Andy O/Hanley/Gibson…Aarons/Normann/Gilmore/Williams…Cantwell/Sargant…Puuki
Lees Melou for Gilmour and possibly Giannoulis for Williams and I am with you on selection.